Best Dog Puzzle Toys (Help Your Pup Stay Busy)
Really, it’s always a good idea to keep a dog puzzle toy around. I’m not saying you’re always going to want to use it, but you may want to keep it around for a rainy day. Whether you’re entertaining some people for a dinner party or you’re leaving for a few hours and you don’t want your dog to become anxious, a good puzzle will help keep them occupied and entertained.
It’s also great for your dog’s mental health to engage in activities that help stimulate the mind. These toys aren’t necessarily brain-busters, but they’ll help your dog stay sharp in the long run.
Quick Comparison: 4 Top Puzzle Toys
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
What's So Great About Puzzle Toys?
If your biology revolved around one thing for millennia, and suddenly that changed, there may be some side effects to that. Well, that has happened with dogs, for the most part. Dog’s ancestors hunted for food almost constantly for generations.
When dogs became domesticated, the pursuit of food ceased because they had humans to feed them instead. Some researchers suggest that dogs don't get as much physical or mental stimulation as they might in the wild, since they don't have to hunt for food.
A great fix for that is to keep the dog’s mind occupied with puzzle games. And no, I don’t mean a literal puzzle such as the way we humans view it, but if you even hide their food a little within their reach, it will help them stay keen and give their little puppy brains something to focus on.
There are plenty of toys on the market that are designed to do just that: hold their food within their reach so they have to pursue the food in order to eat it. A great example of this would be the bee-hive shaped, rubber dog toy by Kong.
Now, most people know and love Kong toys. They’re durable, well-made, well- designed, and they’re affordable. The classic toy by Kong is bee-hive shaped with a hollow interior.
The hollow interior is so you can fill it with treats such as peanut butter, dog safe cream cheese sticks, jerky, etc. This helps recreate the pursuit of food on a micro level, and it’s excellent for the dog’s mental and behavioral health.
I don’t think this knowledge is common enough. Bored dogs behave badly, and we want our dogs to be happy anyway, right?
Here's a Shiba Inu solving a kind of toy we really like...
Making the dog pursue its food while also maintaining a healthy lifestyle of love, exercise, a good diet, etc. can help the dog control its behavior, thus ending the vicious cycle of dog renting.
So if possible, even if you just have to try it, make your dog “sing for its supper.” Hide their food little by little or make them solve a puzzle to get it.
It’s important that you don’t do too much too quickly because the dog could develop some sort of food insecurity – not knowing where its next meal is coming from. If you don’t want to keep your dogs guessing for its usual dinner, there are some great toys that can supplement mental stimulation at times that aren’t designated as dinner time.
We’ve compiled a list of dog puzzle toys that will help you get your dog into this habit. You’ll be able to work with them to increase their IQ. So without further ado, here are our recommendations for great dog puzzle toys!
Check Out These Top-Notch Toys that Can Keep Even the Most Clever Pups Busy!
Kong Classic Dog Toy
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you must be familiar with this toy. We briefly spoke of this toy earlier in the post, but we’d like to touch on it further because it’s one of the most popular toys on the market, and it's one of our dog's favorites.
This toy is incredibly versatile, and it has it all. This toy can be used as a chew toy, an item for fetch, or as a puzzle toy. The inside is hollow and it can be filled with treats.
These treats can either be Kong, specially made treats or it can be a treat that you spread on the inside like peanut butter.
It’s a great toy, and as long as they don’t change a thing, we’ll continue to recommend them!
Nina Ottosson's Interactive Dog Toy
This can be a tricky puzzle even for the more sharp and seasoned dogs.
The purpose of the game is to hide a treat within then have the dog work its way through the puzzle to retrieve the treat.
This provides mental stimulation, the pursuit of his food, and a sense of accomplishment for the dog. This puzzle has been said to improve your dog’s IQ, helps your dog with multi-tasking, and it helps the dog curb behavior issues.
Additionally, if your dog decides to see this as a chew toy instead of a stimulating game, it is made of durable wood, and it won’t likely break with minimal pressure.
Our Pets Smarter Interactive IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy
The purpose of this toy is to fill it with your dog’s favorite treats. Once you dog figures out that they have to roll it on the ground in order for the treats to spill out, it will help them exercise their mind and their body.
It’s a great toy for medium to large sized dogs, and you’re able to adjust the difficulty as your dog learns or as you want to throw them off to increase the amount of problem solving he has to do to retrieve the treat.
And that's pretty cool. It means your dog will almost never get bored.
It’s a really great and fun toy for your dog, and it will help them stay mentally and physically sound. We definitely recommend this toy!
StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy
This is a very interactive toy that helps as an avenue for your dog to pursuit their food. The base of the toy holds up-to three cups of treats or food. The dog then has to try to get the food out of the toy.
The openings in toy can be adjusted to increase or decrease difficulty. The great thing about this toy is that it will work for any dog.
The size is perfect and will work for any size dog. The bottom is anti-slip to keep it from rocketing across the floor, and the design will keep it bobbing back up to keep your dog entertained, occupied, and stimulated.
Overall, this is an excellent, quality toy, and we highly recommend it.
Image credits: Amazon.com